Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Capital investment committee considers bonding; Education bill moves; Budget negotiations continue

Yesterday at the Capitol

The House Capital Investment committee met yesterday and after working through a flurry of amendments, passed HF 959, which provides bond authorization for $28 million for flood hazard mitigation. The bill also reduces authorization for several prior year projects where money has not yet been spent. The bill heads next to the Ways and Means committee. Committee Chair Larry Howes, R-Walker, said that this hearing may be the last committee meeting of the session, but did say he hopes there is a bonding bill that follows this one.

E-12 education conferees reached a tentative agreement last night on the education bill, now pending negotiations with Gov. Dayton's administration. This is a big step forward in the process since E-12 education is one of the bigger pieces of the overall budget, representing approximately 40 percent.

With just under two weeks remaining in the legislative session, we can expect regular press conferences by both sides as they try to position themselves. Gov. Dayton said yesterday morning that he expects budget talks with Republican legislative leaders to pick up in the coming days, and that his breakfast meeting with leaders was "constructive." He said he's ready to compromise, but is waiting for one position on the spending bills. Senate Majority Leader Amy Koch, R-Buffalo, said yesterday that legislative leaders are making progress with the governor.

Today at the Capitol

In Congress:
At 9:00 a.m. today the Subcommittee on Higher Education and Workforce Training is holding a hearing: "Removing Inefficiencies in the Nation's Job Training Programs." You can watch the hearing live here.

Overview: The Government Accountability Office (GAO) recently identified 47 separate employment and training programs administered across nine federal agencies. These programs cost taxpayers an estimated $18 billion in fiscal year 2009. As we work to foster a stable economic recovery, Congress must take steps to streamline federal spending and restore fiscal discipline in Washington. Consolidation and improved coordination among workforce development programs would reduce wasteful government spending while strengthening programs designed to encourage a stronger, more competitive American workforce. Today's hearing will allow members an opportunity to examine ways we can modernize federal job training programs while saving taxpayer dollars.

The higher education conference committee meets this evening at 6:00 p.m. (see details below).

8:00 AM
Senate Finance
Room: 123 Capitol
Chair: Sen. Claire A. Robling
S.F. 1319-Daley: Veterans homes special revenue account provision modification.
S.F. 1320-Daley: Veterans homes work therapy programs profits use authority.
S.F. 1321-Daley: Veterans affairs commissioner federal funds acceptance authorization.
S.F. 943-Ingebrigtsen: Miscellaneous aquaculture, game and fish, hunting, elk crop damage, fish and wildlife management plans, invasive species, natural resources department (DNR) provisions modifications.
S.F. 389-Gazelka: No-fault automobile insurance basic economic loss benefits modifications.
S.F. 1199-Pederson: Prevailing wage provisions modifications.

9:00 AM
House in Session

10:30 AM
Senate in Session

12:00 PM (or at the call of the chair)
House Ways and Means
Room: 200 State Office Building
Chair: Rep. Mary Liz Holberg
HF611 (Gunther) Small business loan guarantee program created.
HF808 (Anderson) Anatomical gift $2 donation provided for public information and education, anatomical gift account created, and money appropriated.
HF1088 (Drazkowski) State agency natural disaster response provisions modified.
HF1270 (McDonald) E-charging expanded to include citations, juvenile adjudication, and implied test refusal or failure.
HF1170 (Gunther) Worker classification regulation, penalties, and fees modified.
HF1023 (Smith) Courts, juvenile delinquency proceedings, child support calculations, protective orders, wills and trusts, property interests, protected persons and wards, receiverships, assignements for the benefit of creditors, and notice regarding civil rights provisions modified.
HF1063 (Murray) Counties permitted to perform private audit meeting standards of state auditor.
HF1396 (Gunther) Unemployment insurance and workforce development provisions modified.
HF1061 (Urdahl) Outdoor heritage fund, clean water fund, parks and trails fund, and arts and cultural heritage fund funding provided; outdoor heritage provisions modified; accounts established; Clean Water Legacy Act modified; Clean Water Council membership and duties revised; State Capitol Preservation Commission established; appointments provided; and reporting and other requirements established for legacy fund recipients.

3:00 PM (or 15 minutes after session)
Senate Capital Investment
Room: 112 Capitol
Chair: Sen. David H. Senjem
Agenda: To be announced

6:00 PM
Conference Committee on Higher Education Omnibus Bill
Room: 300N State Office Building
Chairs: Rep. Bud Nornes and Sen. Michelle Fischbach
Agenda: HF1101*/SF924 (Nornes/Fischbach) Omnibus higher education finance bill

6:30 PM
Legislative Commission on Pensions and Retirement
Room: 10 State Office Building
Chair: Rep. Morrie Lanning
H.F. 409 (Poppe); S.F. xxxx: IRAP/TRA; MnSCU employee retirement coverage specified, and employer required to provide certain notices.
H.F. 1354 (Lesch); S.F. 1088 (Pappas): SPTRFA; Postretirement adjustment procedures revised, refund interest rate reduced, interest payments on reemployed annuitant savings accounts terminated, and deferred annuity augmentation rate lowered.
H.F. 1628 (Murphy, M.); S.F. xxxx: DTRFA; Definition for vesting added, and leave of absence, retirement, survivor, and disability benefits eligibility modified.
H.F. 1668 (Murphy, M.); S.F. xxxx: PERA; Duluth and Duluth Airport Authority optional correction of erroneous employee deductions and employer contributions.
H.F. 1528 (Morrow); S.F. 1277 (Sheran): MSRS; Increased annuity for survivors of DOT employee killed while engaged in emergency response to flooding.
H.F. 1647 (Lanning); S.F. 1369 (Rosen): Major plans; Statutory salary scale and payroll growth actuarial assumptions revisions

Looking Ahead

At this time, there are no higher education related committee hearings scheduled beyond today, Wednesday, May 11. Given the fluid nature of session, this will change. Stay tuned.

No comments: